Winters in North India are much looked out and waited for.Its like 8 months of Summers where apart from a month or two of pleasant weather there are horribly hot days with temperatures nearing 50°C,sparse rains and even during the rainy season a humidity which virtually “kills” and exhausts people beyond tolerance levels.Winters are as cold with temperatures under 0° in some areas and here is where the season is celebrated with food to enliven spirits!
Food is available in plenty and economical as well – Loads of green leaves : Mustard,Chenopodium album (bathua),Spinach,Fenugreek and Garlic greens and Chives – you get everything!New Potatoes,long,fat and juicy Carrots pulled fresh with damp earth still clinging to them,aromatic bunches of Coriander,Mint and Dill,juicy Turnips,fat and long Radishes with equally long and tasty leaves,beans of various kinds,football sized Cabbages and Cauliflower,Oranges with a ton of sweet juice and honey sweet Guavas – this is how I can describe my childhood in the Winter season.The sellers used to bring the produce on 4 wheeled tables called “thelas” which they wheeled on the roads and we used to buy fresh picked produce which tasted awesomely delicious!
Hariyali means greenery and subzi vegetables or a vegetable preparation!So this absolutely lip smacking subzi is mixed assorted vegetables which is cooked in a paste of greens thus making them even more healthy and drool worthy!Though I do not know the roots of this awesome preparation,I know that this was made at the turn of the century.I first had this for lunch with fluffy,hot Pooris and white as Jasmine Basmati Rice and Dal at a family friend’s house back in 1994 when I was still a schoolgirl and fell in love with it the very instant I put the first morsel into my mouth!The lady late Mrs Sharda Srivastava who was my grand mother’s friend was a great cook and it is she who taught us the basics of North Indian cooking from making Roti to the best of food connoisseur food!Mrs Srivastava may have become an angel above but her cooking has never been forgotten and will be passed on for others to know and learn!
We will be cooking this recipe with assorted vegetables so it is imperative to know 2 main things :
- The varieties of greens we are using – mixed or one variety
- The vegetables used
- We sort out the vegetables in batches for uniform cooking.
- You can use one kind of green leafy vegetable or a mixture of greens.
- You can use Paneer if you want.
- I have used Baby Corn as I love the taste it acquires after cooking!
- I have added Garlic as I love it in this recipe but you can omit it if you want!
- For best results divide the vegetables into groups of :
- The fast cooking ones
- The slow cooking ones.
- Potatoes – as they need to be pan fried separately.
I have used Fenugreek Leaves (Methi) as my preferred Greens and will now post the recipe on how to segregate the vegetables!
This recipe was submitted for the 120th FoodieMonday Bloghop where the theme was Winter Recipes!
Preparation Time : 1 hour
Makes : 6 – 7 servings
For the Green Paste :
1 1/2 cups Fenugreek Leaves (or a mix of greens as you like) – washed and dried
2 medium Onions – roughly chopped
4 fat Garlic Cloves
The fast cooking vegetables :
2 – 3 Green Onions (only the greens) – finely chopped
1/2 Green Capsicum – diced
3 – 4 Baby Corns – diced
The slow cooking vegetables :
1 small/1/2 big Carrot – diced
1/2 cup Cauliflower – separated into florets
2 – 3 Cauliflower leaves and stems (optional)
1 cup finely sliced Cabbage
1/2 cup peas – frozen/fresh
1/2 cup French beans – chopped
1/2 cup Sugar Snap Peas (Sem) – chopped
Other Ingredients :
3 Potatoes – peeled and diced
1 tsp Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder
2 tso Coriander Powder
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp honey
1 bay leaf
1 tsp Garam masala
2 tbsp Oil
2 tbsp Coriander Leaves – finely chopped
Add the Fenugreek Leaves,chopped Onions and Garlic in a blender and make a fine paste.Keep aside.
Pan fry Potatoes :
Heat 1 tbsp Oil on low heat and add Potato dices.Sprinkle 1/2 tsp salt and fry till soft and golden brown.Drain and place on an absorbent paper.
Fry the vegetables :
In the same pan you will have some oil left over after draining the Potatoes.Add the vegetables under “The slow cooking vegetables” and sprinkle 1/2 tsp salt again.Cover and cook for 15 – 17 minutes till all vegetables are tender but retain their shape.
If using Paneer pan fry that as well and keep aside.
Make the subzi :
Heat the other 1 tbsp Oil and add Bay Leaves.Now pour in the prepared Green Paste and fry for 5 – 6 minutes on medium heat till Oil separates.Now add the vegetables under “The slow cooking vegetables”,Potatoes as well as those under “The fast cooking vegetables”.Add honey and mix well.Check for salt and add the rest if required.Cover and cook on low heat for 5 – 7 minutes till all the vegetables are nicely cooked and amalgamated with the Green Paste.
Remove Bay Leaves and sprinkle Garam Masala and Coriander Leaves.Serve hot with Roti,Poori,Paratha or plain boiled rice!